In preparation for our H.P. Lovecraft quasquicentennial tribute this weekend, we’ve compiled a list of recommended articles about Lovecraft adaptations in general, as well as specific films in this series. Look for a Film Note on THE CRIMSON CULT later this week. Also, be sure to check out Ben Sunday’s take on IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS.
Off Screen’s Mark Hain discusses the themes of sexuality, racial undertones, and the fear of procreation that is present both in Lovecraft’s fiction and adapted films. In his analysis Hain regards the difficulty of Lovecraftian adaptations due to his work’s lack of romantic involvement and present anxieties for “procreative sexual behavior.”
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir points out HP Lovecraft’s cultural influence in his writings being adapted into films. He acknowledges the work of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society in furthering engagement—as well as creating—feature films based on the writer’s work.
GreenCine’s Shawn Axmaker applauds Andrew Leman’s feel for silent movie texture in his 2005 adaptation of THE CALL OF CTHULHU. Leman explores the film’s slow sense of insanity as it maintains the aesthetics of a 1920s silent film.
New York Times’ Vincent Canby reviews FROM BEYOND at the time of its release, citing its advancements in special effects and attention to detail for the monsters represented on screen.
LA Times’ Manhola Dargis recalls HELLBOY as a “triumph of design over meaning.” Dargis deliberates on the larger-than-life visuals that allow the film to not derive, but feel like the vividness of a comic book.
ReelViews’ James Berardinelli examines Carpenter’s themes of isolation and paranoia in THE THING. He considers the claustrophobic camera work and the “trapped” feeling the camera work creates to be the driving source of suspense for the film.
A 1962 review by Variety recalls the prism-like world of X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES, making the standard plot of “scientist tamper[ing] with the unknown” more unique. The review notes a culmination of both comedy and philosophical thought found in the film.
AV Club’s Noel Murray frames MAREBITO in the contents of a “video-addicted culture” and the isolation that follows this phenomenon. While the review regards the film’s constant narration as a bit distracting, audiences are brought back into focus by squeamish scenes of gore and self-infliction.